New England Patriots Injuries: Shane Vereen and Visanthe Shiancoe

The New England Patriots are still without No. 2 running back Shane Vereen, as he has not practiced since the 24th of August and looks on track to miss the first game of the season against the Tennessee Titans. The Pats signed Lex Hilliard two days ago, but the 240-pound veteran RB looks poised to take over the fullback role.

In any case, Vereen is still absent and looks questionable to play in Week 1 at this point. Stevan Ridley will get a large load of carries, so you fantasy owners had better give him at least a strong consideration as an RB No. 2 or flex against the Titans.

Meanwhile, the signing of tight end Michael Hoomanawanui has led to an expected stint on the injured reserve for veteran Visanthe Shiancoe. He has been out for a while with a hamstring injury, but the Patriots used him for their “designated for return” tag.

That was a surprising move, and I’m going to criticize it a little bit here. Bill Belichick is almost always right and has far more credibility than some blogger, but I hate it when people simply say “Trust BB”. I trust him, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to formulate my own opinions.

Anyway, the signing of Big Mike gives the Patriots four tight ends on the active roster, with three of them being better than Shiancoe. So while Shiancoe can definitely return at some point during the regular season, the Pats already have four tight ends. It’s not that I don’t agree with the move- I’m honestly not sure at this point- but it is a bit of a gamble for the Pats.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: New England Patriots Shane Vereen Visanthe Shiancoe

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